What once was a pain in their collective psyche has now become a full-blown nightmare for the Clippers.
What once was a promising rivalry between two Pacific Division foes has now become a one-sided affair that has not been in favor of the Clippers.
And so now here the Clippers stand again, looking to get free of the stranglehold the NBA champion Golden State Warriors have had over L.A. in recent times.
The Clippers have to think back to Christmas night in 2014 to understand what it feels like to defeat the Warriors.
The two teams meet Monday night at Staples Center, offering the Clippers a chance to snap a 10-game losing streak against this juggernaut known as the Warriors.
“They’ve owned us,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said late Saturday night.
“They’ve owned the league, too, for that matter,” he added. “So we have to be ready. It’s going to be a tough game.”
After a disappointing loss to Detroit on Saturday night, DeAndre Jordan was asked what it was going to take for the Clippers to finally break through against the Warriors.
His first word was a swear word, perhaps because Jordan was recalling how the Warriors annihilated the Clippers last season, beating L.A. by an average of 21.5 points.
The Clippers lost every game by double-digits, including a 46-point obliteration in Oakland.
“I don’t know,” Jordan said. “We just got to play. They’re a great team. They’re a championship team. They know how to play. They have been together for a very long time. We’ve just got to come out and compete. We’ve got to make minimal mistakes against a team like that.
“They are going to make runs. They’re going to hit big shots, crazy shots, tough shots. We’ve just got to stick with it, and just keep playing.”
It’s too early, Blake Griffin said, to call this game a measuring stick for the Clippers with this being October and there being so much season left to play.
But he also noted how the 4-1 Clippers will have their hands full against the Warriors, who have won two of the last three NBA championships.
“They have weapons at almost every position,” Griffin said. “We’ve got to put together a solid game. It’s got to be for 48 minutes. You see them go down early a lot and then fight their way back in it. It’s a full 48-minute thing.”
Patrick Beverley acknowledged that it’s different playing against the Warriors and that any team raises its intensity level.
“I wouldn’t sit here and tell you your juices don’t get flowing against the Golden State Warriors,” Beverley said. “Of course, they’re the champs. You have to get your best shot ready to beat a team like that. Like I said, it doesn’t get easier. But we’re excited. We feel like we’re up there with one of the top teams. At the end of the day, we’re going to compete.”
CLIPPERS VS GOLDEN STATE
When: Monday, 7:30 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.
Update: Griffin has made at least two three-pointers in each of the first five games this season, the longest stretch of his career. Griffin has made 12 of 29 three-pointers, 41.4%. He’s averaging 24.8 points per game.